Constitutional Provisions

The 1959 Constitution of Brunei (as amended) does not guarantee fundamental human rights nor does it regulate the use of force by the police or other law enforcement agency.

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Not party
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 N/A
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) Signatory
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints N/A
CAT Optional Protocol 1 N/A
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Not party

Regional Treaties

There is not yet a regional human rights treaty to which South-East Asian nations can adhere, although a non-binding human rights declaration was issued by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2013. 

National Legislation

Police Use of Force 

The Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) is the primary law enforcement agency in Brunei.

The Law on the Brunei Police Force does not address police use of force. Instead, the 1983 Public Order Act (as amended) authorises the police to use "such force as, in the circumstances of the case, may be reasonably necessary", which "may extend to the use of lethal weapons", in order to:

  • arrest any person in an assembly who fails to comply with any order to disperse or "stop at or before reaching any barrier erected or placed under the Act"
  • to arrest any person who is reasonably suspected of having committed a criminal offence
  • to overcome forcible resistance offered by any person to such arrest; or 
  • to prevent the escape from arrest or the rescue of any person so arrested.Art. 21(1), 1983 Brunei Public Order Act (as amended through 2002).

Police Oversight

There is no independent civilian police oversight body in Brunei.

Caselaw

Global

Brunei is not a state party to either the ICCPR or the CAT. Its last Universal Periodic Review under the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2014 did not address police use of force.

Regional

There is no regional human rights body with jurisdiction to hear cases of alleged unlawful police use of force in Brunei.

Downloads

1959 Constitution of Brunei (as amended) (English translation)

Law on the Brunei Police Force

1983 Brunei Public Order Act (as amended through 2002)